When you are working with a diverse group of people, it can be difficult to match all of the distinct personalities together. Many times, organizational managers will give their employees a group personality test, so that individuals can understand some of the differences between the way they process information and events and the way that their co-workers process those same items. When I started working for my last employer, we were split up into groups of five, and they assigned us so that none of us were sitting at a table with a close friend. This meant that we had to take the time to get to know people with whom we were acquainted but were not especially close. Then, each of us took a twenty-question, multiple-choice personality assessment test, where each question gave us a short scenario, and we had four answers to choose from; the answer was supposed to be the closest to our actual response to the situation. After we had finished taking the test, each response had a certain number of points, and depending on your points in different categories, you were labeled a particular personality color. Gold personalities were strict rule followers; orange personalities love to go out and have fun; blue personalities were very emotional and affective; green personalities worked hard but were introverted, not needing emotional support or feedback from others.
The purpose of this was to get staff members better acquainted with one another, and to explain some of the differences among members of the group. The group found it enjoyable – after the sorting was done by color, we were all supposed to go and sit with people who identified as the same color, and we colored a name placard to sit in front of us on the table in the meeting with our name, decorated with the predominant color that suited us. Many people in the group sat and talked with one another, surprised to find out who was a “gold” or an “orange,” for example. The “blue” people were very easy to identify – they were the ones who had emotional responses to just about everything that happen to them. There was a lot of laughter during this exercise, as people did not expect to end up in their color, at times, and other people would not have guessed the other people in their color group.
The desired outcome was greater unity among employees and greater understanding about mental and emotional differences that tie into our personalities. Morale has been a significant problem at our workplace, and our leadership has worked hard to get people to know each other and to enjoy spending time with one another, and after the activity was over, the managers put colored dots on our mailboxes in the work room so that we would remember the different types of personalities we work with – the dots corresponded to the personality type of the person whose mailbox it was. In general terms, that exercise started the work year off well, as people were constantly saying things like, “Well, of course she’ll do that. She’s an orange!” if someone was always wanting to go out after work. Also, people who really love following the rules were teasingly identified as “Goldfinger” or other names in fun. In general, the activity brought our workplace closer together.